The video footage of Bucks guard Sterling Brown’s arrest is set to be released this week, and judging by how Milwaukee authorities are scrambling to do damage control, it sure seems like it’ll tell a very different story from the one police first told. Brown was arrested on Jan. 26 for resisting arrest after officers say they saw his car parked across a pair of handicap spots. Milwaukee cops claimed that Brown approached them threateningly as they were writing him a ticket, at which point they subdued him with a taser and booked him for resisting arrest. A few days later, however, police dropped the charges, began an internal review, and announced that they’d release body camera footage.
That footage is going to be released very soon, per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and reactions from those who have watched it make it sound like the Milwaukee PD overstepped their bounds and had no reasonable case to use a stun gun on Brown. Sources who spoke to the Journal-Sentinel all agree that Sterling was not at all combative or threatening when he was subdued. One said he was not “provocative at all,” and Mayor Tom Barrett said at a news conference Monday, “I’m going to let the release of that speak for itself, but yes, I definitely have concerns after watching that video.” The city has begun showing it to local officials and community leaders in anticipation of its release this week.
“There’s going to be a video that is going to come out soon, in the next couple of weeks, involving the department. And I’m going to be honest with you: We’re going to need your support during the challenges,” Assistant Police Chief Michael Brunson said at a Milwaukee church on Sunday.
Chief Alfonso Morales reportedly shares Mayor Barrett’s concerns, all of which indicates that the police apparatus in Milwaukee is preparing to deal with serious fallout. If the video really does show that cops subdued with a stun gun Brown without cause, then the community will be justifiably pissed, especially since the Milwaukee PD has a history of using excessive force. (Stun guns are already overused and are not the low-risk policing tools that they are made out to be.)
Neither the Bucks nor the Milwaukee PD issued a statement to the Journal-Sentinel. The video could be released as soon as tomorrow. If you’ve seen it or have a copy of it, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.